An observational study of 16 years of hospital records showed a correlation between heart attacks and the Christmas holiday season. Specifically, 10PM on Christmas Eve had the highest risk of heart attacks. The study’s authors explain that a culmination of short term risk factors including “emotional stress, heavy physical activity, cold weather exposure, and air pollution” could lead to the uptick in heart attacks.
“Well, thanks, Brian,” you’re thinking. Brian’s just coming along and putting a damper on the holiday spirit. Not at all. I’m using the opportunity to encourage folks to ensure their plan is in place. One of the key elements of BDR’s Four-Part Plan is a living will.
I am commonly asked about living wills (AKA, advanced health care directives) and why it should be in place. A living will allows you to plan for your medical care before you become incapacitated and are unable to direct your care. I always recommend folks have an advanced health care directive in place.
A living will allows you to designate an agent to act on your behalf with regard to medical decisions while you’re incapacitated. For unmarried folks, I highly encourage a living will be put in place so you have somebody to act on your behalf. A living allows you to designate a primary physician and also dictate the type of care you want in certain circumstances (e.g., prohibiting blood transfusions or establishing do-not-resuscitate and do-not-intubate orders).
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that you can’t stop life, so you better Make Your Plan and cover yourself when it comes at you.